Over 284 million people grapple with anxiety every day. Anxious people tend to always be on high alert and full of nervous tension. The key to calming your nerves lies inside of you -- gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is a naturally occurring amino acid that crosses the blood-brain barrier, where it acts as a chill pill. When it comes to chemical messengers, GABA is that voice of reason that promotes clarity and peace of mind. Here's everything you need to know about the role of GABA neurotransmitters in anxiety relief.
What is the GABA Neurotransmitter Function?
GABA is a chemical messenger produced by our brain cells. They use glutamine (and its metabolite glutamate decarboxylase) and Vitamin B6 from our diets to create GABA.
When this chemical messenger is released from the cell membrane, it attaches itself to proteins known as GABA receptors. This interaction promotes a calming effect on the central nervous system.
Resultantly, the action of GABA naturally reduces levels of stress hormones that promote anxiety, such as cortisol. That's why many experts say GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter.
In fact, it also puts helpful excitatory neurotransmitters that can spiral out of control in check. Research shows that another GABA function includes influencing dopamine receptors to prevent excessive excitement.
While dopamine is essential for a good mood, it's also our bodies' perceived rewards center. The need to please your dopamine receptors can lead to issues, such as alcoholism, gambling, or sex addiction.
GABA Supplements vs Medications
There are many studies that link low GABA levels to depression and anxiety. That's why many doctors will prescribe benzodiazepines, such as Xanax or Valium. Unfortunately, these medications can become addictive or cause many other uncomfortable side effects.
Some doctors will prescribe drugs that increase the effect of the neurotransmitter GABA. The most common of these prescriptions are barbiturates, such as Seconal. These medications can also have side effects that include nausea and stomach pain.
You should always discuss changing your regimen with a doctor if you believe there might be natural options out there for you. Some people find an adequate balance with a dietary supplement.
Many experience the benefits of increased GABA with Tranquility Labs' Tranquilene Total Calm. This all-natural formula contains GABA to increase your focus during mental tasks, help manage your stress, and improve your sleep.
In addition to containing GABA, this non-habit-forming dietary supplement contains natural ingredients that boost natural GABA production. Tranquilene Total Calm is fortified with a B-Vitamin complex. As we mentioned earlier, Vitamin B6 is a cofactor for GABA production. However, all B-Vitamins are catalysts for various brain functions!
This formula also contains magnesium. Magnesium is an essential mineral that is crucial for over 300 functions. Research shows that magnesium helps stimulate natural GABA production. In fact, both magnesium and GABA promote anti-anxiety effects by binding together onto benzodiazepine receptors. These are the same receptors targeted by benzodiazepines.
How to Increase GABA
Boosting these beneficial chemical messengers will be helpful for natural anxiety relief. There are a few things you can do to boost your overall GABA production. Here are some tips to help melt away stress and boost your mental clarity.
Eat with Brain Power In Mind
Food is energy, including brain power. Everything you eat can make or break your mental health. Be more conscious of what you put on your plate to help improve your GABA levels.
Glutamine is a naturally occurring amino acid. However, we should still consume more of it in our diet. This amino acid is found in many lean proteins, including:
- Beef, In Moderation
Additionally, you're going to need some Vitamin B6 to get this party started. Round out your protein with a wide variety of fruits and veggies.
Make sure that some of these foods make the plate:
- Beef Liver
- Ricotta Cheese
- Yellowfin Tuna
Lastly, you're going to need some magnesium. Luckily, there are plenty of healthy and delicious foods that are rich in this mineral.
Get your magnesium on with:
- Almonds, In Moderations
- Dark Chocolate
- Peanut Butter
- Pumpkin Seeds
All of that looks like a recipe for a morning yogurt bowl. Sounds like a good idea to us!
From Downward Dog to Calmward Dog
We're always feeling like "go, go, go." Sometimes you need to slow the pace and let your blood pressure level out! Have yoga be that outlet.
Think about how relaxing taking a walk outside is. The birds are chirping and the sun is dancing on your skin. As relaxing as that might be, science shows that yoga is more relaxing than outdoor walking by up to 26%!
Some of the best relaxing yoga poses include:
- Corpse Pose
- Downward Facing Dog
- Garland Pose
- Forward Fold
- Lizard Pose
- Sphinx Pose
- Tree Pose
- Wide-Legged Child's Pose
The best thing about yoga is that you don't need any equipment, even a mat. Your floor or bed will suffice!
Totally Total Calm
Sometimes you need a little help meeting your wellness goals. Dietary supplements are a great support system for diet and exercise.
Tranquility Labs' Tranquilene Total Calm helps fill in any gaps you might have in your diet. It is fortified with natural GABA and all the components your body needs to make more!
- GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that promotes calmness
- Low GABA levels are linked to anxiety and depression
- Tranquility Labs’ Tranquilene Total Calm is the best dietary supplement to increase GABA level!
BONUS RECIPE: Garlic Herb Baked Salmon
- 4 thick firm boneless salmon fillets (about 4 ounces each)
- Parchment paper or aluminum foil for baking
- 4 thick slices of lemon
- 4 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 large cloves garlic peeled and halved
- 8 small sprigs of fresh thyme
- 8 sprigs fresh dill
- 4 small sprigs fresh rosemary
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cut four pieces of aluminum foil or parchment paper that are about twice the size of each salmon fillet.
- Sprinkle the salmon with a little bit of salt and pepper, and then place each fillet on the center of a parchment square.
- Place a slice of lemon on top of each piece of fish; drizzle with about 1 teaspoon of olive oil; put half of a garlic clove, 2 thyme sprigs, 2 dill sprigs, and 1 rosemary sprig on top.
- Fold the parchment paper to seal each parcel tightly shut.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, or until fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.